clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wisconsin football recruiting: LB Christian Bell transfers to Badgers

New, 26 comments

The Badgers land a transfer from Alabama.

Christian Bell at the 2014 NFTC Birmingham.
Christian Bell at the 2014 NFTC Birmingham.
Student Sports

I’ve always made a joke about how recruiting is a flat circle, that any time you miss out on a prospect, most of the time you can find a prospect of similar acclaim without a problem. But there is truth to it, as just days after Wisconsin's former No. 1 target in this recruiting cycle – Fort Lauderdale, Fla., three-star linebacker James Houston -- committed to Florida, the Badgers landed a transfer from Alabama in former three-star Hoover, Ala., linebacker Christian Bell, who announced the move in a tweet on Thursday.

Bell will be forced to sit out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer regulations and will be a redshirt freshman once he regains eligibility.

Bell was set to be a member of Alabama's class of 2015 after being a long-time commitment, but his scholarship offer was converted to a grayshirt late in the recruiting process. He still signed with the Crimson Tide, but the Badgers remained a flip possibility after they were able to land Bell's high-school teammate, running back Bradrick Shaw. When Bell finally elected to transfer, Wisconsin was the first place he visited, and he found the fit perfect.

Bell first announced his decision to transfer from Alabama in a tweet on Sunday.

For the Badgers, Bell definitely has upside at linebacker. At 6’4, 240 pounds, he has the functional strength to hold up at the point of attack and the athleticism to burst past offensive tackles and chase down ball carriers. It’s a versatile skill set shown at a high level of competition. In a fashion, he’s similar to incoming freshman Keldric Preston in that if there’s further bulk to be added onto his frame, he's versatile enough to slide to defensive end.

Bell will be the third transfer the Badgers have landed for the class of 2017, joining Hawaii transfer Nick Nelson and Pittsburgh transfer Chris James, though the Badgers will actually get a full four seasons of eligibility from Bell.

As it stands right now, the Badgers are one scholarship away from hitting 85 for the class of 2017.